June 28, 2017
The Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show has been a part of Osceola County Heritage for nearly 74 years promoting Agriculture and the education of area youth. Throughout the years, the 501c3 Non-Profit organization has seen many changes, embracing the modern day fair and working hard to advertise and develop their annual Osceola County Fair in an effort to continue to serve its youth exhibitors and farming and ranching communities as best possible. Since 2005 they have awarded more than $72,000 in educational scholarships, hosted an annual livestock auction grossing an average of $400,000, and each year distributes more than $50,000 in premiums, ribbons, and awards. With the support of extremely generous businesses and individual donors, KVLS & the Osceola County Fair has been able to both entertain the entire Central Florida Community, while preserving the traditions of many earlier generations.
In 2018, KVLS will be returning to those roots and concentrating on educating even more individuals about the importance of Agriculture. General Manager, Miranda Muir stated, “Most people do not realize how profoundly their lives are impacted by farmers and ranchers and it is our mission to get back to the basics of our event, educating all ages and all walks of life about agriculture.” As such, the 2018 Osceola County Fair will be themed #AGVOCATE. The hash tag will help celebrate the Fair, many new events and areas, and Osceola County’s roots while introducing the public to modern agriculture, the science and technology involved, and hopefully attracting a new market of individuals. The theme is designed to merge the trends of today with the celebration and education of the agricultural industry.
The new theme will also be paired with a new fundraising effort. Muir indicated, “The #AGVOCATE fund will be designated strictly for use in educational areas.” This will be an expansion of a fund previously established by the Chapman family who generously and tirelessly worked to support the fair ensuring its existence and securing its future with the opening of Osceola Heritage Park in 2003.
The initial $50,000 goal will be promoted and raised over the next two years. A large portion of the initial funding will be dedicated to opening the H.A.Y.L.O.F.T (Helping All Youth Learn of Farming & Technologies) at the Osceola County Fair. This nearly 10,000 square foot area will be dedicated to activities geared towards educating visiting youth. Participants will have a chance to milk a cow, drive a tractor, sheer a sheep, or practice their roping skills in this completely hands on area. Muir cited a recent report by the Washington Post indicating more than 7 percent of Americans, “think that the color of milk is related to the color of spots on a cow.” In other words, chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Muir advised, “It is so disheartening to ask a young child where milk comes from and their answer is the grocery store. KVLS is ready and willing to step up to the plate, beginning agriculture education at a young age, and informing kids everywhere why and how Farmers and Ranchers make a difference and an impact on their lives each and every day.” In addition to this interactive exhibit, the group also plans to begin educational seminars for both exhibitors and the general public, and are hopeful to begin an Ag based summer camp in 2018.
The group however needs your help. They encourage everyone to not only attend the 2018 Osceola County Fair, February 9th – 18th, but to also consider donating to the new #AGVOCATE campaign. Every dollar counts and gets them one step closer to their goal. If you would like additional information, please call the KVLS Office at 321-697-3050 or visit www.osceolacountyfair.com.
To make a donation to #AGVOCATE, our Agricultural Education Fund, please CLICK HERE